Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until one day when Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices blood dripping onto the floor of a villager's fireplace, and a dead body stuffed inside the chimney. The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit, but Hamish doesn't believe that the affable chimney sweep is capable of committing murder. Then Pete's body is found on the Scottish moors, and the mystery deepens. Once again, it's up to Hamish to discover who's responsible for the dirty deed--and this time, the murderer may be closer than he realizes.
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Sort order. May 09, Barbara rated it liked it Shelves: women-of-mystery In this 26th book in the 'Hamish Macbeth' series, the Scottish policeman investigates murders linked to shady business deals. The book can be read as a standalone. The couple largely keep to themselves and have little to do with the townspeople. A mysterious phone call spooks the Captain and it seems clear that he's avoiding someone. When the Davenports' chimney needs cleaning, chimney sweep Pete In this 26th book in the 'Hamish Macbeth' series, the Scottish policeman investigates murders linked to shady business deals.
When the Davenports' chimney needs cleaning, chimney sweep Pete Ray is hired to do the job. Afterwards, the Captain's body is found stuffed up the chimney and Pete is found dead in the hills, with items stolen from the Davenports' house. He's sure Pete was set up, and sets out to find the real killer.
The constable discovers that the Captain was a con man who cheated people, and thinks one of the victims probably killed him.
Hamish soon has a list of suspects who were taken in by the swindler, including some residents of Lochdubh. Hoping the perp is an outsider, Hamish goes to great lengths to investigate the Captain's old army buddies, who are now business moguls. To infiltrate their businessman's club, for example, Hamish dyes his hair black, borrows a toff's suit, dons his friend's Rolex - and pretends to be a Canadian looking to invest. Meanwhile, other people also learn the Captain was a swindler and - for reasons of their own - try to track down his targets.
But the killer is absolutely ruthless, and quickly gets rid of anyone who poses a threat. For a cozy, this book has quite a high body count.
In addition to the murders, most of the series' usual characters make an appearance, and there are a variety of subplots: Angela Brody, the wife of Lochdubh's doctor, pens an erotic novel. In her book, the doctor's wife has a steamy affair with the village policeman.
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Of course everyone jumps to the obvious wrong conclusion. And she's right. Superintendent Daviot, trying to get rid of Hamish as usual, sends an Assistant Constable to spy on him. A suspect's wife runs off to Brazil and hooks up with a hot Latin lothario. Hamish trains for a hill-racing competition. All this extraneous activity makes the plot seem random and padded, but that's business as usual with this series. Fans of Hamish MacBeth probably know what to expect. I thought the book was okay, a mildy entertaining cozy.
I was already judgemental of this book, expecting it to be inferior to Agatha Raisin, but I was pleasantly surprised and found it amusing, clever and sharp. MC Beaton is a great cosy mystery writer. May 13, Heather Clawson rated it did not like it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Young Adult Reading Machine: Hamish Macbeth Death of a Chimney Sweep by M. C. Beaton
This book started out well enough, with a rich bastard getting his ticket punched and then his body being stuffed up his own chimney, supposedly by the local chimney sweep. But when the local police try to find the sweep he turns up dead as well, the victim of an apparent vehicle accident.
All in all, a nice juicy murder mystery stage, set in Scotland and with a rogue Scottish detective in for good measure. How awesome is that?!? Well, turns out, not very awesome at all. In fact, this book was so This book started out well enough, with a rich bastard getting his ticket punched and then his body being stuffed up his own chimney, supposedly by the local chimney sweep. In fact, this book was so bad that it ended up sucking all the awesomeness out of the room. I don't think I've ever read such a mess of a book.
The only saving grace it had was the character of Hamish Macbeth, the aforementioned Scotts detective.weareusa.googleninjas.com/wp-content/galipasy/407.php
Hamish Macbeth - MC BEATON
I did enjoy his brogue, his quirky character and his loyal pets. But sadly, even Hamish's prediliction for annoying his superiors was not enough to save this book. Just a few issues I had with the book: 1. As close as I can estimate from the timeline in the book, the first murder victim, Henry Davenport, is buried 2 and a half weeks after his body is found.
However, between his body being found and finally being buried, his sister Philomena shows up, finds a clue, gets kidnapped and is also murdered. Yet she's buried in a mere two or three days they are actually buried on the same day. What the hell? Why in the name of six holy hells would you keep a body for over two weeks? Or do they just do things differently in Scotland?
Death of a Valentine
All four main suspects and Davenport were buddies in the army. However, at the time of the story, all of them live in the same housing development, practically all right next to each other. For no discernible reason. I've never seen so many tape recorders in my life. Any time it seemed convenient that someone record a conversation, somehow, suprisingly, a character is able to spontaneously produce a tape recorder.
And not just any tape recorder, but a mini-tape recorder, suitable for discreetly recording a converstaion without anyone knowing about it. Remind me to take a vow of silence the next time I visit Scotland. At one point the killer breaks into the house of two sisters in the village and ties up the one sister's ankles but doesn't feel the need to tie her hands.
Which comes in handy when she manages to take his gun away from him. At one point Hamish rounds up the villagers, urges them to grab any guns they may have and go out to hunt the killer who is hiding somewhere on the moors around the village. Any policeman or detective who urged innocent civilians to try and bring in a man who has already killed five or six people should be shot, on sight, simply for being an impossibly large ass.
All four of the main suspects have an alibi for the night Davenport was murdered: they were all dining together with their wives at a local restaurant. So first we're told that the police have confirmed this alibi because dozens of restaurant patrons confirm seeing the suspects. Then one of Hamish's compatriots ventures the idea that the suspects might be covering for each other.
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